Building Trust Online: Business Startup Basics

3-2-1 Go! You need to build trust just that quickly in today’s online marketplace flush with social media and “buy now” buttons. Sales has gotten so slick that some companies make 99 percent of their revenue without selling anything directly (i.e. they use ads on their website and give content away). Seriously. Your business can be a flash in the pan if you don’t focus on building relationships quickly and effectively. Why is the Internet so fickle? Because there are a million other businesses on the web just like yours. Sound harsh? Welcome to the new age of commerce.

Building Trust Online: Business Startup Basics

Build Partnerships With Established Brands

If you’re just starting out, there’s no shame in partnering with someone who has been in the game for a while now. That’s how people make a living selling through eBay and Amazon’s marketplace. They start out as a one-person operation, set up shop with a well-established brand, and make sales using the trust of another company. it works.

Let’s say you’re going into the eyewear business. You want to sell contact lenses and frames. Do you go it alone? Sure, you could, but competition is pretty steep in that industry already. An alternative would be to partner with someone like and let them do the bulk of the “relationship building” for you – at least in terms of branding.

It’s a lot simpler and easier than trying to claw your way up from the bottom.

Put A Killer Privacy Policy On Your Website

Online users are getting really smart. One of the first things they look for is an “About” page on your site. The next thing they look for is your company’s privacy policy. If you’re lacking either of these two things, trust just went out the window.

A privacy policy is a clear statement that you value your users’ data. If you’re collecting any data at all, it’s actually a legal requirement that you have one posted somewhere reasonably visible. It should tell users how their information may and may not be used. It should basically make them feel more secure and safe when using your site.

The policy should serve as an agreement with visitors. Their browsing and shopping on your site constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions you post. Consider having an attorney review your policy to make sure you’ve covered all your legal bases. No sense in getting sued over a misplaced or missing sentence.

Use A Reputable Payment Processor

People just don’t trust business with credit card information these days. More and more, people want to do business directly with companies that they know and trust. That’s why it’s incredibly important to use a reputable payment processor., Paypal, and 2Checkout are all examples of payment processors that users have come to know and trust. Google checkout and Amazon payments are a couple more processors you could consider. Basically, if you’re new, you just don’t have the brand recognition or awareness to set up a private label checkout system. Plus, PCI compliance is pretty difficult to achieve when you’re not using a 3rd party system.

Kick Up The PR Efforts

PR is one of the best ways to make your brand a household name. But brand recognition doesn’t happen automatically. You have to reach out and connect with reporters and bloggers, news stations and magazines. Once the general public start to read about you in publications they know and trust, they’ll come to know and trust you too.

John Sheppard is a business consultant with several years under his belt. When he’s not working, he likes to help others by sharing his insights online.